Experience with anger may leave you with the idea that all
anger is bad. Yelling at your children for cooperation
doesn’t leave you feeling very positively. Watching your
children fight when they are angry doesn’t give you any
warm feelings either. But, anger does have it’s purpose in
our lives and can teach us a thing or two about how to have
healthier, happier relationships.

Here are five ways that anger can be a good thing:

1. Anger protects. When your child is in danger your mind
will automatically kick into a “fight or flight” reaction that
can result in anger. You don’t have time to stop and ponder
a course of action when your child is in the middle of the
street! Anger short cuts our thinking brain to allow us to act
quickly. This is nature’s way of protecting your family from

2. Anger signals. The purpose of anger is to destroy
problems in our lives, not our relationships. When
something needs to dramatically change, anger not only
lets you know but it gives you the power to do something
about it. For example, if your child’s doctor won’t listen to
your concerns, getting angry can stir things up and get a
problem diagnosed and solved.

3. Anger rules. Your child left his toys all over the house
again! Tired of yelling at your child to get his cooperation.
That only reinforces the annoying behavior. Your anger
may be telling you that expectations are too high, the rule is
not clear enough, or that you are not following through on
consequences consistently. Use the energy of your anger
to communicate the rule (again) and then follow it up with
consistent, age appropriate discipline.

4. Anger talks. What we say to ourselves affects our
emotional state. If we tell ourselves we are bad parents
then we may act like bad parents. If we tell ourselves we are
doing the best we can under stressful circumstances we will
react with less hostility and frustration. Practice listening to
that little “anger voice” and challenge some of the
misperceptions you hold of yourself and your child. Ask
some honest friends to help you be objective in your inner
inventory. If what you are saying to yourself is true, use this
information to make changes in your parent/child

5. Anger teaches. Our anger management styles are
learned from our own parents. If Mom was a yeller, we may
follow her example, even if we vowed never to yell at our
kids. Fortunately, if you learned one anger expression style
you can learn another. Separate the idea that feeling anger
is bad. That is natural and unavoidable but what you do
with those hot emotions is completely under your control —
with some practice. Allow yourself permission to find new
ways to cope with daily parenting hassles by taking a class
or reading a book on anger management.

by Ron Huxley http://parentingtoolbox.com

Anger Management Classes available 7 days a week in Houston, Texas.

Gregory A. Kyles, M.A., LPC, CEAP, CAMF
Director, Anger Management Institute of Texas
Diplomate, President of Texas Chapter
American Association of Anger Management Providers

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